THE former lime works at Bellmanpark in the Ribble Valley has been added to English Heritage’s list of sites deemed to be ‘at risk’.

The Pimlico Link Road site is among 57 sites across the North West to be added to the Risk Register because of concerns about their condition.

The former lime works stand near a busy quarry near Clitheroe that is still in use today by Hanson Cement.

However the limekilns themselves have been deprived of maintenance that has left the furnace structures in danger.

The underground tunnels that once provided an engineered solution to making the manufacturing process quicker, safer and more profitable are beginning to show their age, according to English Heritage.

The arches and brick-lined walls are collapsing, the tunnels are partially flooded and piled with debris and invasive vegetation have taken root.

Plans are currently being drawn up to see the monument cleared of vegetation alongside the owners and volunteers from the Clitheroe Civic Society.

Once the kilns are more accessible English Heritage plans to assist with the accurate recording of the structures.

The organisation said that a combination of private and public funding will then be necessary to address the worst structural issues, make the monument safe and provide interpretative material on site.

The project’s progress will be revealed at a conference in Lancaster called ‘Save your Heritage’ which is due to be held in the coming weeks.

In the 1890s 80 men were employed to produce 1,000 tons of cement annually which was transported all over Lancashire.

Pauline Wood, chair of the civic society, said: “This is one of three ancient monuments that we have in Clitheroe alongside Edisford Bridge and the castle.

“It’s such an enormous amount of money that’s needed to get this project done and I expect it will run into the hundreds of thousands.

“Bellmanpark just gets ignored but we are hoping that an open day next spring will help to change that.

“Industrial grants are few and far between so there is a long way to go.”

Bellmanpark limekilns were opened in circa 1869 by James Carter and William Rowe.

The bank of limekilns were built in 1877 adjacent to the Blackburn-Chatburn railway line, and the tramway connecting the kilns to the railway in the same year but trading ceased in 1960.